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  • Writer's pictureMelisha Meredith

Health Status of Americans

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

A bar graph with an arrow going upward

I get fed up.

Within the last two weeks, I got this news:

  • One work acquaintance was told her cancer was metastasizing and there is nothing else her doctors can do for her.

  • One friend is recovering from a reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy and is really struggling with pain and ongoing treatment.

  • A friend of a friend was sent home with a rare form of cancer to live out her last days because the doctors told her there was nothing else they could do.

  • Another work friend is on her third round of chemo.

And these are just the instances that are cancer related. This doesn't even touch the friends struggling with diabetes, high blood pressure, infertility, depression and more.

I know I was somewhat naive when I was young. But it wasn't like this even 40 years ago, and research backs that up. The rates of disease are climbing with no reprieve in sight.

I get fed up.

The National Cancer Institute has spent $157 billion on research since 1971. And many other private entities and organizations contribute as well, making the total in the hundreds of billions. And where has it gotten us? Americans are worse off than ever before.

Consider some of these statistics about the health status of Americans:

1. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 40% of American adults are obese. - Source

2. Approximately 34 million U.S. adults have diabetes, and another 88 million have pre-diabetes. - Source

3. Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure. - Source

4. The United States ranks 11th in the world for healthcare quality, despite spending more on healthcare per capita than any other country. - Source

5. The annual cost of obesity-related healthcare in the United States is estimated to be $190 billion. - Source

6. About 1 in 4 U.S. adults (61 million people) experience mental illness each year. - Source

7. About 25% of Americans report experiencing frequent mental distress. - Source

8. Only 1 in 10 American adults gets enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. - Source

9. In 1901, the cancer rate was 1 in 8000. And now the cancer rate is 1 in 3. - Source: American Cancer Society

I could go on and on with these kinds of statistics.

The American Cancer Society states, "A substantial proportion of cancers could be prevented, including all cancers caused by tobacco use and other unhealthy behaviors." Well, they have that right!

What are these unhealthy behaviors? We all agree on drugs, alcohol and tobacco. But this list also includes toxic chemicals in personal and household products, consuming too much processed food, living chronically high-stress lives, drinking contaminated water and breathing contaminated air.

I get fed up.

There are a few reasons people aren't prioritizing their health.

They don't think they have time. "I'm too busy."

They don't think they need to. "I'll be fine."

They don't know they need to. "I had no idea!"

If someone knows the risks and still wants to live an unhealthy lifestyle or prioritize other things - that is their choice, and I respect that.

What breaks my heart is the ones who just don't know. No one has told them yet about the effects of their unhealthy lifestyle. And when they do get sick, they won't likely be told that lifestyle changes could be a part of their healing journey.

That's what this community is here for. Providing inspiration and education for your wellness journey. I know I was so glad someone told me! I was so glad that someone put the information out there for me to learn and start to take ownership of my own health. That's what I want to do for others here in this community.

Please help me spread the word by sharing DW info when you can!

Thanks for listening, sometimes...

I get fed up.

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